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Non furtum feci, nec fugi,' si mihi dicat
Servus, 'habes pretium, loris non ureris,' aio:

• Non hominem occidi ;' —non pasces in cruce corvos b.' That is the dialogue of masters and servants: If you be a thief, you shall be condemned to the mill; if you be a murderer, you shall be broken upon the wheel: but if you abstain from such crimes, your reward shall be, you shall escape the furca.—Since, therefore, the spirit of the law was the spirit of fear and of bondage, God did transact his covenant with them in negative measures.

5. (3.) The law of Moses was a pursuance of the covenant of works; and since it had in it very little beside the umbrages of the XPotos suyos, the sweet yoke' of the Gospel, it did stipulate for exact measures: but therefore the precepts were negative, that the obedience might be the more possible, and the injunction the nearer to paternal: for it is much more possible to abstain from sins of commission than from sins of omission: so that,

Optimus ille est
Qui minimis urgueture,

is the best measure of obedience to the Mosaic law: "he is the good man, who cannot be accused to have done what the law forbids; he who hath done the fewest evils, not he who does the most good:' and thus also the Pharisees understood their duty: and they were not reproved by our blessed Lord, for understanding the negative precepts by the rules of abstinence and a negative duty; but because they understood their negative duty only by the measures of the letter, not of the intention and spirit of the law; and, 2. because when they had been, by the commentaries of the prophets and other holy men, instructed in some evangelical measures, and more perfect intendments, secretly at first designed by God, and so expounded by the prophets by way of evangelical preparation, yet they would still adhere to the old and first understandings of the law; because they loved some sins which, as they had known, were forbidden by those negative precepts, if they would have opened their hearts to understand them as they should.

b Hor. ep. i. 16, 47.

c Sat. i. 3, 68.

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diens factus usque ad mortem,

" " he was obedient even unto death :” and so must we, when God requires it in particular. And that this is our duty, and that the obligation reaches thus far, is certain upon the interest of love; for we must love him, who is our Lord and our God; we must love him with all our heart and with all our powers; and therefore endeavour to be like him : η δε σύμφωνος τω νόμω τιμή, ή της ουσίας των τιμωμένων γνώσις, και η προς αυτα κατα δύναμιν εξομοίωσις. "Ο γαρ άγαται τις, και μιμείται, όσον αυτώ οίόν τε ως γάρ φασιν οι Πυθαγόρειοι, τιμήσεις τον θεόν άριστα, έαν τω θεώ την διάνοιαν ομοιώσης k. The greatest honour we can do to God and God's law, is to understand God, and to become like to him. For every one imitates that which he loves. “ Religiosissimus cultus est imitari,” said Lactantius; “ that is an excellent instance of the divine worship, to endeavour to become like to the holy Jesus.”

36. (9.) But this is to be reduced to practice, so as that, 1. The duty be certainly imitated; and, 2. The degree of duty aimed at; 3. And the instance be chosen with prudence and liberty. Thus when we find, that Christ did spend whole nights in prayer, the duty here recommended, is earnestness and diligence in prayer. In this we must imitate our blessed Lord; because his rule and his example make Try xanny ourwgida, an excellent confederation and society. But then to do it with that vehemence and earnestness, that degree of diligence, is a rare perfection, which we can only tend to in this life, but we must do what moral diligence we can: and, as for the instance and particularities of duty and devotion, we are yet at greater liberty; for we are not obliged to pernoctation in prayer, so wė pray earnestly and assiduously, which is the duty,--and endeavour to do it like Christ, which is the passion of the duty, and the degree of love, and the way of perfection; but that it be in the night, or in the day, is but the circumstance of the duty; nothing of the nature, nothing directly of the advantage of it; and is to be wholly conducted by prudence and consideration of accidents.

37. (10.) After all this, as Christ must be imitated in all matter of duty, and is imitable in degrees of duty, and that

k Hierocl, in Carm. Aur. Needham, p. 22.

for the circumstances of it we are wholly at liberty,--so also it is in matters of his own ordinance and institution, in which the religion is to be obeyed; the design is to be observed and promoted, the essentials of the observation to be infallibly retained; but in the incidences and collateral adherences which are nothing to the nature of the rite, nor at all appertain to the religion, there is no obligation, no advantage, no love, no duty, in imitating the practice of our blessed Saviour. Thus to celebrate the blessed sacrament of the Lord's

with bread and wine, to do it in remembrance of his death; to do it as he commanded, in obedience to him, to receive it à præsidentium manu,'from the hands of the presidents of religion,' is matter of duty, and matter of love, and matter of obedience; but to suppose we are bound so to imitate the actions and circumstances of the actions of Christ, as that it is duty or necessity that we take it in unleavened bread, to mingle water with wine, to receive it in wines of Judæa, to receive it lying or leaning on a bed, to take it after supper; is so far from being matter of love or duty, and a commendable imitation of Christ, that it is mimical and theatrical, trifling and superstitious, a snare to consciences, and a contempt of religion ; it is a worshipping of God with circumstances instead of forms, and forms instead of substances; it is like burning mushrooms upon the altar, and a converting dreams into a mystery; it is flattery, not love, when we follow our Lord in those things, in which he neither gave command, nor did any thing of religion or excellence, that is, in which he neither propounded himself imitable, nor to be obeyed. For what worthiness was there in it, that Christ did eat this supper at supper time; or that when he did institute this, he was at his other supper, and did, as the fashion of the country was, at his supper? What religion was there in it, that he drank the wine of his own country ? and what ceremony or mystery was it, if, according to the usages of sober persons, he put water into his wine for his ordinary beverage ? and how could these become matters of religion or imitation; when they were only the incidences and investitures of the ordinary actions of life and conversation ? and, in these things; the interest of religion is conducted competèntly by common reason. He that follows the vices of his prince, does like the man that worshipped Mercury by throwing stones at him; and he serves

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diens factus usque ad mortem,” “ he was obedient even unto death :” and so must we, when God requires it in particular. And that this is our duty, and that the obligation reaches thus far, is certain upon the interest of love; for we must love him, who is our Lord and our God; we must love him with all our heart and with all our powers; and therefore endeavour to be like him : η δε σύμφωνος τω νόμω τιμή, ή της ουσίας των τιμωμένων γνώσεις, και η προς αυτά κατά δύναμιν εξομοίωσις. Ο γαρ άγαται τις, και μιμείται, όσον αυτώ οίόν τε ως γάρ φασιν οι Πυθαγόρειοι, τιμήσεις τον θεόν άριστα, έαν τω θεώ την διάνοιαν ομοιώσης k. The greatest honour we can do to God and God's law, is to understand God, and to become like to him. For every one imitates that which he loves. “ Religiosissimus cultus est imitari,” said Lactantius; “ that is an excellent instance of the divine worship, to endeavour to become like to the holy Jesus.”

36. (9.) But this is to be reduced to practice, so as that, 1. The duty be certainly imitated; and, 2. The degree of duty aimed at; 3. And the instance be chosen with prudence and liberty. Thus when we find, that Christ did spend whole nights in prayer, the duty here recommended, is earnestness and diligence in prayer. In this we must imitate our blessed Lord; because his rule and his example make Triy xanny ouvwgida, an excellent confederation and society. But then to do it with that vehemence and earnestness, that degree of diligence, is a rare perfection, which we can only tend to in this life, but we must do what moral diligence we can: and, as for the instance and particularities of duty and devotion, we are yet at greater liberty; for we are not obliged to pernoctation in prayer, so we pray earnestly and assiduously, which is the duty,--and endeavour to do it like Christ, which is the passion of the duty, and the degree of love, and the way of perfection ; but that it be in the night, or in the day, is but the circumstance of the duty; nothing of the nature, nothing directly of the advantage of it; and is to be wholly conducted by prudence and considerati accidents.

37. (10.) After all this, as Christ must be imitated matter of duty, and is imitable in degrees of duty, ai

k Hierocl. in Carm. Aur. Needham, p. 22.

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